The lavish 25th-anniversary version of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’, filmed at the Royal Albert Hall, is being broadcast free on The Shows Must Go On!, the YouTube channel from Universal and theatrical titan Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The stream begins on Friday October 9, but only for a brief time: viewers in the United Kingdom and Ireland can watch it for one day only, while those elsewhere in the world get 48 hours.
‘The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary’: what to expect
This is Andrew Lloyd Webber's greatest hit of them all: a timeless tale of candlelit romance between a pretty young singer and the mask-wearing serial killer who has been stalking her from his subterranean lair beneath a 19th-century Parisian opera house. The libretto, adapted from Gaston Leroux's novel, is by Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe and Lloyd Webber. If you're like about 130 million other people on the planet, there's a good chance you have seen 'Phantom' already—it is by far the longest-running show in Broadway history, and has grossed more than $6 billion worldwide—but this performance differs from Harold Prince's classic original staging.
To mark the musical's 25th anniversary in 2011, Laurence Connor directed a deluxe new staging of the show at London's grand Royal Albert Hall, produced by Cameron Mackintosh, with some 200 performers in the cast and orchestra. Footage from all three performances were edited together to create this film record, which was later shown in cinemas. The lovely Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess, who had portrayed the Phantom and Christine in Lloyd Webber's ill-fated 'POTO' sequel 'Love Never Dies' a year earlier, reunite to play the OG (Opera Ghost) versions in this production, with good support from Hadley Fraser as the uninteresting love interest Raoul and Wendy Ferguson as the demanding diva Carlotta. Be sure to keep watching after the bows: In a lengthy encore, the show's original West End and Broadway stars, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, take the stage to sing their signature numbers.
In a departure from The Shows Must Go On!'s usual practice, the stream will be viewable for only 24 hours in the UK and Ireland, but for the usual full 48 hours everywhere else.
‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is available on YouTube starting Friday October 9 at 7pm BST (2pm EDT, 4am AEST). It will be viewable for 24 hours in the UK and Ireland and for 48 hours elsewhere. Watch it here:
We’ve also ranked all of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musicals from worst to best.
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The Phantom of the Opera | Photograph: Courtesy the Really Useful Group